Discourse 136 – The message of God.





The analysis.

The practice.

The throne of God.

The four living creatures.



The analysis

The Bible is a "letter" from God to us human beings. Yes, it really is the case that with most books of the Bible God is trying to send us a message. But since God passes on his messages through the spirit of believing biblical authors, these thoughts of God’s frequently get mixed up with the thoughts of these people.

This has the unfortunate result that misunderstandings are all too common, whether they arise deliberately or inadvertently. And then too the fact that the Bible was written in ancient languages, like Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek, and has to be translated into our modern languages is another – and a very much bigger – source of mistakes.

On the other hand many biblical teachers and interpreters, preachers and leaders of congregations of the present day are concerned to introduce the Bible to their audiences and readers "book by book". In an Evangelical congregation of this kind, this means something like – "OK, we’ll read one book of the Bible every month, so in the end we will have read the whole Bible from cover to cover."

What people overlook here is the fact referred to above, that in the Bible the thoughts of God are interwoven with the thoughts of the prophets and authors of the individual books. This is because the Bible is not, in its totality, "the Word of God" but rather contains the Word of God – as it also contains, to some extent, the "word" of the prophets and authors of its books.

And so we can now explain how it is that these brethren in the congregations, often with the very best intentions, succeed in reading their way through the whole Bible over three or four years, but have nonetheless understood very little of what they have read, and are even less well able to remember it.

But in view of the fact that if criticism is to be positive, it should always try to point the way to a solution, we would like here to get to the bottom of the matter and subject the problem to thorough analysis. So let us start with an example, as a way of illustrating the mistaken conclusions to which this approach – an approach common all over the world in Christian circles – can lead.

Let us just take a look, then, in this connection at the so-called "Jehovah’s Witnesses". Their method, with the aim of arriving at a sort of "biblical competence", is to learn a great many biblical references by heart. They are brilliant, in any biblical discussion, at reciting biblical passages in response to a keyword which relate to the theme in question.

And this often conceals the fact that they have very little idea about the context of these biblical passages. Although they know where a great many statements in the Bible are to be found, when it comes to the meaning of these statements – either individually, or in terms of the bigger picture – they are very much less well informed.

But the real problem with this approach is not just the spurious claim to biblical knowledge of these brethren, but rather the incorrect interpretation of many biblical texts that results from their supposed interpretive competence. And this then is directly related to many false doctrines to be found in Christian congregations.


The practice.

Here now is an example from actual practice which shows what deep mysteries a careful interpretation, based on study of the Bible in its entirety, can bring to light, and how superficial exposition focused on speedy results, and based on texts taken in isolation, can falsify the true meaning and make it impossible for people to understand the message aright.

We are concerned here with the interpretation of the four "living creatures" which were seen by both John in his Revelation (Rev 4,2-8) and by Ezekiel in two different visions (Ezk 1,2-11 and Ezk 10,14-15). These beings on the one hand confirm the authenticity of what is stated, while on the other hand they also demonstrate the absolute reality of the events described.

For the reader’s better understanding, here are these biblical passages:

A throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

Rev 4,2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 4,3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4,4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. 4,5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; Rev 4, 2- 5;


As all serious exegetes are in agreement on the point that the one sitting on the throne was God, the Almighty, we can go straight on and turn our attention to the appearance of God. And – to be more precise – not with the appearance which John describes in verse Rev 4,3, but with the figure of God, which can be inferred only indirectly from this text.

The fact that there is talk about a throne here and that someone was sitting on it, implies that this somebody had a manlike figure, otherwise he would not be able to fulfill the physical prerequisites for a creature that is able to sit and John would not have described him as "sitting". This throne and the figure that was to be seen on it, was also described by the prophet Ezekiel. He had his vision on the river Chebar, in the land of the Chaldeans.

And on the throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.

Eze 1,22 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads. 1,23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other. 1,24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.

1,25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. 1,26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Eze 1,22-26;


And in contrast to John, Ezekiel expresses it in Ezk 1,26 quite clearly: the one on the throne had the appearance of a man. And he even confirms immediately after this verse, in Ezk 1,28, that this was "the glory of the Lord".

Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Eze 1,27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. 1,28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking. Eze 1,27-28;


So, God has the appearance of a man. Is this surprising? – Frankly speaking, it is not, for in Gen 1,26-27 we explicitly read that God created man in His own image – in the image of God.

Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.

Gen 1,26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 1,27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gen 1,26-27;


And if man is created in the "image", that is to say in the figure of God, also the other way round must be applicable, namely also God must have a manlike figure. Even if now God in His almightiness and omniscience, that is to say in His spiritual attributes is not at all comparable to man, we may imagine His figure to be similar to our one.


The throne of God.

Now one might here quite justifiably ask whether the absolute righteousness of God really constitutes the background to those scriptural passages we have quoted earlier. So in order to back up these statements, once again in the light of Scripture, I would like to cite and comment on a highly interesting passage from the Old Testament.

And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.

Dan 7,9 "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 7,10 "A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. Dan 7, 9-10;


The throne of God, seen and described by Daniel in the above passage, was also seen in a vision by John (Rev 4,1-9). And Ezekiel too gives us an account of this throne, which he saw twice - once in Ezk 1,1-28 on the river Chebar, and then in Ezk 10,1-22 in Jerusalem - and he describes the four Cherubim who transport the throne that is above them and the four wheels beside them in the following terms:

And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.

Ezk 1,10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle. 1,11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies. 1,12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went. 1,13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. 1,14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.

1,15 Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them. 1,16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another. 1,17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved. Eze 1,10-17;


As is to be understood from the context, each of these four Cherubim has four faces. In the vision on the river Chebar in Ezk 1,10 above, Ezekiel describes the faces as follows: "each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle". When he encounters them again in Jerusalem, however, he corrects the former description (Ezk 10,14, 10,20, 10,22) and states that the third face was not that of a bull but rather that of a Cherub. And each of the creatures is accompanied by a wheel.

(See also Excursus 11: “The throne of God.”)

(See also Table 15: “The throne of God and its surroundings. ”)

We have an interesting description of the wheels in the above passage (Eze 1,16):

“as if one wheel were within another”.

Taken on its own, this description could lead to all kinds of suppositions - and has done so in a good many interpretations. The next verse as well (Eze 1,17) -

“Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved”

is rather puzzling when taken on its own. It is only when we compare both verses, and a third verse as well, in a single perspective that a convincing interpretation results. Where it is stated that these four beings moved "in any of their four directions", this must mean their movement is restricted to a right angle: either straight ahead (forwards or backwards) or to the side (to the right or the left). They are only capable of movement in a straight line, and do not go in for diagonals or curves. So if something they are trying to reach cannot be arrived at by moving in a straight line (forwards, backwards, to left or to right), they will have to move in a zigzag - first in a straight line to the front, then again in a straight line to the side - until they arrive at their intended destination.

Now it is possible that the peculiar construction of the wheels also has a connection with this unusual form of progress. Their appearance is described in Ezk 1,16 in the following terms: "… their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another". This does not mean that a smaller wheel has been inserted in a larger wheel in parallel, for verse 1,18 tells us that the wheels’ rims were "lofty and awesome", and such rims would be bound to cover and conceal the second wheel. 

The phrase "one wheel within another" must clearly describe a kind of "cross wheel". We can picture it to ourselves as two wheels or tires, of approximately the same size, which interlock at a right angle, as if to describe the limits of a notional sphere. With wheels like this it would only be possible to advance in the direction of one or other of the wheels, either forward or backward or sideways, so movement in curves would be ruled out.

These wheels were "on the earth, beside the four living creatures". This means that they are not located on an axis, but stand independently beside the four beings and follow them, the Cherubim in their turn being directed by the Spirit of God. Taken all in all, then, we can conclude that the throne of God is not a material or mechanical construction, but a spiritual/biological vehicle that the spirit of God directs and controls.

Keeping this idea firmly in mind, let us now look at an earlier verse (Ezk 1,14), which has tempted generations of commentators to draw the wildest conclusions. In this verse we are told:


“And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning”.

And here interpretations range from a suppositious extraterrestrial spaceship with rocket drive - in such commentators like Erich von Däniken and Shirley Maclaine, who acknowledge that in biblical interpretation they are only amateurs - by way of the following explanation:

“With every movement they made, they lit up like flashes of lightning. Ezekiel just cannot find the words to describe the radiant, supernatural and divine world” (Gerhard Meier in “Der Prophet Hesekiel” [“The prophet Ezekiel] - WStB)

right through to interpretations that are wholly abstract and distort the sense completely, such as the following:

“The glowing coals contained a flickering fire, that ran back and forth between the living creatures. This seems to be an advance hint of Ezekiel’s message of God’s burning judgment against Judah.” (J. F. Walfoord in “Das Alte Testament - erklärt und ausgelegt” [“The Old Testament - explained and interpreted”].

If we remember the interpretation we arrived at earlier, postulating a right-angled progress of the wheels and of the Cherubim, and bearing in mind the fact that this vehicle, as a result of the presence of the Lord in his radiant glory on the throne above the Cherubim, looked to Ezekiel as he saw it on the plain by the river Kebar approaching from the north like “a storm wind... coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually” (Eze 1,4), which made him think of “something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it” (Eze 1,27), then it is not difficult to imagine that it was simply the nature of the chariot’s movement - in zigzags, that is - that left him with the impression that “the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning” (Eze 1,14).

Now of course some readers will be liable to ask at this point what on earth this has to do with the justice of God. But if we imprint on our consciousness the fact that our God is absolute righteousness and justice in person, and that this justice cannot endure injustice or deviations from the straight path in any respect, not even the minutest, then we can see a reflection of this in the way in which the throne of God progresses purely in straight lines:

God does not go by crooked paths or travel by oblique routes.

- not even when moving in person from place to place.

Ascribe greatness to our God! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; Righteous and upright is He!

Deut 32,3 "For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! 32,4 "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. Deut 32, 3- 4;

Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

Ps 25,8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 25,9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 25,10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. Ps 25, 8-10;

The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

Prov 21,8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. Prov 21, 8;

The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.

Isa 26,7 The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level. Isa 26, 7;

For the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done.

Dan 9,14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice. Dan 9,14;

For the ways of the LORD are right.

Hos 14,9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them. Hos 14, 9;

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight’.

Mt 3,3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight’" Mt 3,3;

Make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight. The crooked will become straight.

Lk 3,4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight. 3,5 ‘Every ravine will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low; The crooked will become straight, and the rough roads smooth; 3,6 And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’" Lk 3, 4- 6;

Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!

Rev 15,3 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Rev 15, 3;


Now although God in his omnipotence and omniscience can hardly be intuited by us human beings, in his justice we can see perhaps just a trace of his nature. In the judgment of God, only straight paths will do. Any deviation leads to condemnation. So it is impossible for human beings to achieve righteousness before God through their own efforts. We have nothing to set against the justice of God but the grace of God in his Son Jesus Christ, and Christ’s redeeming sacrifice on the cross for the sake of us sinners.

Here again we recognize the wrong thinking of all false religions, where people suppose that they are capable of pleasing God by building a temple, a cathedral, a church or a chapel, or by some other more or less expensive "donation". This world is God’s footstool, after all – so what can human beings do that is in any way comparable?

The only way in which we can succeed in pleasing God is by believing in his Son and keeping his commandments.



The four living creatures.

When it comes to the "four living creatures" described by Daniel, Ezekiel and John in Revelation, we again find an enormous range of different interpretations from the commentators. But we would like first of all to analyze these texts with a view to finding out for ourselves what these statements are trying to say.

As we have already analyzed the text of Rev 4,1-5 above, let us look at Rev 4,6-8, where John continues his vision of the "four living creatures".

And around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.

Rev 4,6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. 4,7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

4,8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, holy is the LORD God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come." Rev 4, 6- 8;


The conventional exegesis has interpreted these four living creatures since Ireneus (170 A.D.) as symbols of the evangelists of the New Testament, that is to say Matthew = man, Mark = eagle, Luke = calf and John = lion. In this connection the order of the assignment can vary, however, from one exegete to the other one.

Other exegetes, on the other hand, see the four creatures as symbols of the attributes of God, with the calf representing the "sacrifice of God", the eagle representing the "comprehensive view of God", the lion representing the "majesty of God" and the man representing the "lowness of God in His Son".

Those interpreters who see in these creatures the "entire nature disposing of a living soul", construe them as the "four classes of animated nature": man, tame animals (calf), wild animals (lion) and birds (eagle). Also the complete abstraction into symbolism is not lacking in the interpretation of this text. So, some exegetes see the entire image as a metaphor of the sighing creature.

According to them the wings are the expression of the yearning aspiration for more freedom of those who are bound, and the calling day and night in verse Rev 4,8 is tantalizing restlessness. But there are also serious attempts to see hints at astrological signs of the zodiac (taurus, leo…) in this image.

So we see, there are various attempts to interpret this rather difficult text. However, precisely such a delicate passage from the Scriptures should not be interpreted by personal interpretations of the individual exegete, but should be interpreted on the basis of arguments and analyses which are in conformity with the Scriptures, because all other attempts will inevitably lead into the exegetical Nirvana.

If we are now looking for a hint at these four living creatures in the Scriptures, we find it again with Ezekiel in quite an unmistakable way. However, whereas John above describes only the faces of these four creatures, Ezekiel also tells us here something about their figure: "they had human form". That is to say, both God (Eze 1,26) and the four creatures had a manlike figure.

Within it there were figures resembling four living beings.

Eze 1,2 (On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, 1,3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him.) 1,4 As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. 1,5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. 1,6 Each of them had four faces and four wings. 1,7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. Eze 1, 2- 7;


However, these two reports differ in the description of the faces of these four creatures. Whereas John recognizes with each of the four creatures an individual and each time different face, Ezekiel observes the same four faces with each of these four creatures.

The form of their faces.

Eze 1,8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 1,9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. 1,10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.

1,11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies. Eze 1, 8-11;


Judging by this description, Ezekiel saw these four creatures standing in a quadratic formation, with one figure at each corner of the square. Each of them had four wings on the four sides of their bodies. Two of the wings were stretched out and touched the wing of the two neighboring creatures – at the back and at the side and/or at the front and at the side - and thus formed the sides of the square. The two other wings covered the corresponding side of the body, as it is also described in Eze 1,23.

Some interpreters establish a connection between the statement of Eze 1,22, "Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads" and the "firmament" and see in the four living beings then those forces which support this firmament at the four corners of the earth.

However, at a closer examination, one can see easily that this "expanse" is only an imitation of the firmament (also the text says so literally) and the dimensions of the square which is formed by the four creatures and their stretched-out wings are approximately 4 times 5 meters (1Ki 6,24-25).

The way how Ezekiel describes now the four faces at the four sides of the heads of each of these creatures, he must have taken up a position which was left of and in front of this formation. Then we can proceed from the assumption that the human face was situated on the right from his point of view, but seen from the four creatures it was orientated toward the front.

Therefore, Ezekiel saw the head of the lion right of it from where he was standing, the head of the calf opposite of it, on the left side and the eagle at the back. While in the case of Ezekiel each of these four creatures had these four faces, John sees these four creatures, too, however, each of them has only one of these faces. With John we do not find any hint at the positions of the four creatures either.

But probably it is not wrong to proceed also here from the assumption that – in a similar way as with Ezekiel - seen from the view of the beholder in front of the throne, the human face could be seen in front of the throne, while the head of the eagle was standing at the back, the head of the calf on the left and the head of the lion on the right side of the throne.

The reconstruction of the positioning of these four creatures with John may seem relatively unimportant at the first glance, but as we will see immediately, it can help us with the interpretation. Although the faces of the four creatures – apart from the four faces of each one with Ezekiel – are described by both prophets in the same way, nevertheless a considerable difference emerges in the further analysis.

Ezekiel had two such visions of these four living beings. One by the river Chebar, quoted above from Eze 1,1-28, and the other one in Jerusalem, which is reported in Eze 10,1-22. And also in this vision he describes the four living beings and their faces.

The first face was the face of a cherub.

Eze 10,14 And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 10,15 Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar. Eze 10,14-15;


And here it is striking that the description is identical with Eze 1,10, with the exception of the face of the calf. Although Ezekiel confirms that this was the same vehicle – he calls it the "living being" –, which he saw also by the river Chebar, here the face of the calf is replaced by the "face of a cherub". As we can rule out transcription or translation errors at this passage, it seems that Ezekiel was mistaken in one of the two cases.

It would not be in the least surprising, when there are so many incredible happenings, it may well be that he did not pay attention to quite a few details. The question is now only which of these two reports is now the correct one. And in this connection a further statement from the vision in Jerusalem can help us.

So I knew that they were cherubim.

Eze 10,20 These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim. 10,21 Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands. 10,22 As for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one went straight ahead. Eze 10,20-22;


Also here Ezekiel corroborates that this appearance concerned the same vision he had by the river Chebar. He confirms in particular that the "appearance of their faces" is identical with those of the vision he had then. That means that the faces themselves were not changed, but that the prophet just found out that, by mistake, he had seen the face of a calf in his description of the first vision instead of the face of a cherub and that therefore the description of the second vision, the one in Jerusalem, is the correct one.

Also other details of the Jerusalem vision confirm that this must be the case. As it says above, in Eze 10,20, also Ezekiel found out only this second time that these four living beings themselves were cherubim. And as it seems, this discovery was not based on any external signs of recognition, but on the simple fact that the Lord ordered him in Eze 10,2 and 10,6 to "enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim" and to "enter the whirling wheels from between the cherubim" and that thus he identified these living beings as cherubim. From that time on, Ezekiel knew that these living beings were cherubim.

Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim.

Eze 10,1 Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them. 10,2 And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, " Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city." And he entered in my sight.

10,3 Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. 10,4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD. 10,5 Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks. 10,6 It came about when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, "Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim," he entered and stood beside a wheel. 10,7 Then the cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire which was between the cherubim, took some and put it into the hands of the one clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 10,8 The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings. Eze 10, 1- 8;


And while he reports in Eze 1,18 on the wheels that they "were full of eyes round about", he extends this description in Eze 10,12 also to the four cherubim, of whom he writes that "their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around". So this is – after the two rectifications "living beings – cherubim" and "face of a calf – face of a cherub" – the third correction which Ezekiel makes on the basis of the second vision.

(See also Table 15: “The throne of God and its surroundings.”)

In the question which is relevant to us we can therefore proceed from the assumption that the fourth cherub did not have the face of a calf, but the face of a cherub. With this knowledge we now return to the Revelation and try to get, on the basis of the relevant texts, a general idea of the position and the function of these four living creatures within the framework of this vision.

The Lamb and the four living creatures.

Rev 6,1 Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." 6,2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

6,3 When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." 6,4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

6,5 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6,6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."

6,7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." Rev 6, 1- 7;

The living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne.

Rev 4,9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 4,10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 4,11 "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created." Rev 4, 9-11;

And they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.

Rev 7,11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God. Rev 7,11;

And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.

Rev14,3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. Rev 14, 3;

One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls.

Rev 15,6 and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. 15,7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. Rev 15, 6- 7;

And the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God.

Rev 19,4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!" Rev 19, 4;


This look back to the Revelation shows us for one thing that also John had obviously the same problems in recognizing the figures as Ezekiel: He could not identify the four figures as cherubim and therefore calls them "living creatures", and in the case of the fourth one he sees the face of a calf.

So, as also John sees the face of a calf here, the question arises, of course, in how far the face of a cherub has a certain resemblance to the face of a bull, over and above that to the face of a young bull, a calf, as John specifies in Rev 4,7 – that is to say without horns and with still little distinct lower part of the face.

On the other hand, also here this mistake is not astonishing, for also he sees this picture for the first time. By the way, the stem of the word "cherub" comes from Assyrian and has the meaning of "winged bull". And as a matter of crucial importance, in his first vision Ezekiel describes the legs and feet of these four living creatures in Ezk 1,7: "Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof."

So it seems that the form of a cherub – at least in what concerns the feet and the face – must have a certain resemblance with that of a calf. So, we can complete the description also here –analogously to Ezekiel – by interpreting these four living creatures as cherubim and the face of the fourth cherub as the face of a cherub.

But the above texts, especially Rev 19,4, show us also that these four living creatures are unmistakably servants of God. They are – after the Lamb and still before the twenty-four elders and the angels - those who are closest to the throne all right, but they have, no doubt, a serving function. And here a new interpretation offers itself in face of the new finding that the fourth figure did not have the face of a calf, but the face of a cherub.

With the four creatures we are confronted with four cherubim, who have four different faces: a cherub, a man, a lion, and an eagle. At closer examination, it can be concluded from that that these faces could, indeed, be symbolic "representatives" of all creatures of God. The criteria for the choice of just these four faces can be substantiated approximately in the following way.

Cherubim: are the representatives of the world of the angels and thus creatures of the heavenly dimension. They are immortal and therefore do not need any reproduction (Lk 20,34-36;).

Man: He belongs to the biological living beings of this earth. He has the ability to develop intellect in common with the angels. With the other earthly beings he shares their mortality and the necessity to have to reproduce himself in order to preserve his species.

Lion: The mammals are not endowed with reason, but they nevertheless have a privileged position among the biological beings because they – like man – feed their breed at the very first period of their lives by endogenic milk production, that means that they are able to suckle. Apart from the land mammals also whales and dolphins, among other animals, number among this group.

Eagle: Among the large group of oviparous animals rank apart from all species of birds for instance also reptiles, fishes, insects, and worms.


In this interpretation which is orientated toward the criteria of intellectual capacity and preservation of the species, the cherub would consequently represent the world of the angels, man would represent mankind, the lion would represent the mammals, and the eagle would represent all those animals which effect their reproduction by oviposition and thus the entire animated creation would be represented in these four cherubim as the closest of all servants of the Creator.

If this interpretation is correct, we find here a system of the living beings as it was discovered by man only thousands of years later (since Ezekiel!) in his "Natural System of the Animals" - and here also only incompletely (only for the earthly living beings). The modern attempts of classification to this effect go back to Carl von Linné (1707-1778, Systema Naturae) and distinguish six classes of animals: mammals, birds, amphibians (including reptiles), fishes, insects, and worms. These are the same categories which can be seen also above, with the criteria for distinction seeming clearer and therefore also more comprehensive there.

As for the many eyes on the cherubim and on the wheels "all around" (Eze 1,18; 10,12; Rev 4,6-8), one has to contradict the view of quite a few exegetes that with the formulation in verse Rev 4,8: "And the four living creatures (…) are full of eyes around and within …" the outer surface and the inner surface (under the skin) of the bodies of these four creatures were meant.

The "all around" is derived from verse Rev 4,6, where "around the throne" is meant and where with that the side of these bodies which is visible from outside the throne is described, whereas the "within" refers to the side of the four creatures which is turned toward the throne and toward God.

For the meaning of these eyes there is sufficient evidence in the Scriptures, so that there is no need for an interpretation here. In the introduction of the Revelation, in Rev 1,4, John greets the seven churches with "Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne".

The fact that these "seven Spirits" are mentioned in a connection with God, the Lord and that grace and peace is asked for also from them, makes it clear that these seven Spirits here can only be the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.

Grace to you and peace from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.

Rev 1,4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 1,5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood – 1,6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev 1, 4- 6;


While these seven Spirits above, in Rev 1,4, were only mentioned, they are also physically presented here below, in Rev 4,5. They are the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.

Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Rev 4,5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; Rev 4, 5;


So, before the throne of God the Holy Spirit has the shape of seven burning lamps of fire. The prophet Zechariah tells in Zech 3,9 of a star, into which the Lord had engraved seven eyes as a token for the fact that he will remove the iniquity of Israel in one day (outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Israel).

(See also Chapter 10: “The Millennium.”)

On one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it.

Zech 3,9 ‘For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 3,10 ‘In that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.’" Zech 3, 9-10;

These seven eyes of the LORD range to and fro throughout the earth.

Zech 4,10 "For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel – these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth." Zech 4,10;


These seven eyes are the eyes of the Lord, which range to and fro throughout the earth and therewith they are also a representation of the Holy Spirit. And so, also John sees the Lord Jesus Christ in Rev 5,6, when he saw the "the Lamb standing, as if slain", this Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, with seven horns and seven eyes.

The seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.

Rev 5,6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. Rev 5, 6;


Also here, these seven eyes are called " the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth" and with that they are to be understood without doubt as the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in the Son. Finally, it can be concluded from all these hints that the eyes of the four cherubim mentioned in Eze 1,18; 10,12 and Rev 4,6-8 are to be regarded as the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as well.

The ultimate question, why these four creatures have only one face each with John, while they have four faces with Ezekiel, might have to do with their respective task. With Ezekiel their task – as a "means of transport" of the Almighty - is of a rather dynamic nature and requires a joint action of all four of them.

What would be more helpful in this case than dividing the mind and the faculty of perception of each of them and assigning it to all four of them equally? In that way a coordination would be established which cannot be excelled. With John, however, their function seems to lie in guarding the throne and in praising God. For this rather static function such an effort is perhaps not necessary.

And now, after this attempt at interpreting these texts with all due care and in conformity with the scriptures, here is a short extract from an interpretation of these visions on the internet platform "Bibelwissen.ch".



(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

2. The living creatures (verses 5-14) / Book "Quer durch die Bibel" ["Right through the Bible"] by Ewald Keck


Here we have to do with the Cherubim, as they are known. These are heavenly beings who live in the presence of God, and always have a role to play in the description of God’s glory. The same beings were seen by John in his Revelation (Rev 4). What do they look like?

▪    They have the form of a human being, which is exactly described (verse 5b)

▪    Each of the creatures has four faces (verse 6)

▪     Each of them has four wings which are extended upward, and with which they touch each other mutually (verses 6.9-11)

▪    Their gaze is oriented to the front. They follow the guidance of the Spirit (verse 12)

▪    They move with extreme rapidity back and forth (verse 14)


Of particular interest is the description of their faces (V10):

▪    To the front: the face of a human being

▪    To the left: the face of a bull

▪    To the back: the face of an eagle


The Cherubim in Rev 4 have the same faces, but each of them has six wings, with eyes all around. They are occupied day and night with the task of worshiping God on his throne (V8-9). In Judaism after the Exile, and later in the Christian church, this was seen as being a description of the omnipresence of God. Many also see in this symbolism the four revelations of the person of Jesus Christ as portrayed in the four gospels:


Figure
Gospel
Significance
Emphasis
Lion
Matthew
Christ as king of Israel The rejection of the king
Bull
Mark
Christ as the servant of God Christ as worker – many deeds
Human being
Luke
Christ as human being
Biographical details – Christ’s birth
Eagle
John
Christ as the Son of God He who comes from heaven


Each gospel emphasizes one aspect of the person of Christ. That is why the reports are different, and one should not try to harmonize them. We must read the gospels as a revelation of the glory of Jesus Christ!

Das Buch Hesekiel [The Book of Ezekiel] / Ewald Keck 




As we can see, although our author here goes by the antiquated interpretation, in that he relates the "four living creatures" to the four evangelists, his interpretation makes some changes to the traditional order. Instead of

Matthew = human being,    Mark =  eagle,     Luke = ox  and               John = lion           (interpretation of Irenaeus)

or

Matthew = lion,                  Mark = ox,          Luke = human being and John = eagle        (interpretation of Hieronymus)

he posts

Matthew = lion,                  Mark = ox,          Luke = human being and John = eagle        (interpretation Keck)


Like so many of his predecessors in the last hundred years, so too this author has shrunk from the effort that would be needed to get a more comprehensive grasp of these texts and to recognize that when God gives his visions to human beings, he does not mean to refer to this, that or the other biblical author, but rather wants to show us in no uncertain terms that he is the Creator of all living creatures, and that his creation should be subject to him and to him alone.

But in our world of today, faith in the God of the Bible is hardly found anywhere any longer – not in atheism, nor yet in the idolatrous religions which worship the creation instead of the creator, among which indeed the Catholic church may well be counted, with its worship of human beings ( "Mary ", and the cult of the dead of prayer to the deceased "saints"). So the great majority of humanity has deliberately cut itself loose from its Creator.

This brings us now to a further aspect which lies hidden in the biblical passages quoted above. Our God is not just the God of the beginning, he is also the God of the end. And so in the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of John, we not only find indications of the creation, represented by the "four living creatures " and the throne of God, but we also hear about the consequences of the disrespecting of the Creator God through his creation.

These "four living creatures", which in the above passage represent the entire creation before the throne of God, are actually the same ones who, the moment they are introduced, in the text quoted earlier (Rev 4,2-8), first of all give thanks and glory to the creator of all things:

For You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.

Rev 4,9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 4,10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 4,11 "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created." Rev 4, 9-11;


But then, immediately following and in the next chapter, the famous book of seven seals is put into the hand of God – and so we are already in the time of the Last Days. Not at the end of the world, please note, as there is still the Millennium (the thousand years’ kingdom of peace of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth) to come first.

But here we are indeed faced with the time of the end of the human race’s global supremacy. For this book which God holds in his right hand contains those well-known prophecies about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse who dominate the first part of the Last Days. This is the time of the Great Tribulation, which is then followed by the second part, the "Day of the Lord".

But first of all, in this vision of John’s (Rev 5:1-5), we find ourselves faced with the question who will be allowed to open this book, with all its ruinous revelations of the Last Days, and so set in train all these disastrous events. According to John’s report, no one was found in the whole of creation – in heaven, on earth and even under the earth (an allusion to the kingdom of the dead perhaps?) who was qualified to carry out this task.

And then, in what follows, we find two important statements – perhaps the two most important messages in the entire Bible. The first statement is the answer to the question we referred to above. There is only one person who is worthy to open the Book and so pronounce judgment on the whole of humanity – that human being who gave his life to save them (Rev 5:8-10): Jesus Christ.

It might of course be objected at this point that we are talking about just a single life, whereas billions of human beings, out of the whole of humanity, are lost as a result of their unbelief, and will spend eternity in hell. But Jesus Christ is not just simply "a human being". He is the Son of God, and only he could atone, before God, for us human beings through his freely chosen death on the cross.

But – and this is a whole lot more important – there is not a single human being on earth (or even in the kingdom of the dead – those people who died before the death of Jesus had the gospel preached to them by Jesus, after his death, in the kingdom of the dead 1Pet 3:18-19) whose sins could not have been forgiven (with the exception of the one unforgivable sin) and who thus could have been saved from damnation.

But it would be wrong here to lend any credit to the argument of the Jews who justify their guilt in the death of their Messiah on the grounds that in this way they "saved the world". This would be a case of whitewashing the perpetrators and turning them into victims. Those Jews who come to believe in Jesus Christ will be saved in just the same way as all others who believe in Jesus, through the forgiveness of their sins.

JThose Jews who do not believe in Jesus – and that is the overwhelming majority of Jews over the last two thousand years – will, like all godless persons and idolaters, be consigned to damnation at the Last Judgment. This is because the Jews can no longer offer sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins as in their old Mosaic religion, because the altar of the temple in Jerusalem, which was the one place where such a sacrifice could be acceptable to God, has been destroyed; while on the other hand they have declined the offer of God to have their sins forgiven through faith in his Son (Jn 8:24).

The second insight that we can derive from these texts is the biblical fact that two thousand years ago a paradigm shift took place on earth in relations between human beings and their God: :

o  After the death of his Son at the hand of the Jews, God no longer wishes for sacrifice, not even animal sacrifice. The death of his Son was a universal sacrifice for all.

o  If a person wants to have their sins forgiven, they must also believe in this vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God for their sins as well, and actually confess it.

But this also involves a change of power. God has handed over all power in heaven and on earth to his Son.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

Rev 5,11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 5,12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 5,13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." Rev 5,11-13;


And Jesus too confirms this, after his Resurrection, when he appears to the eleven disciples:

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mt 28,16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 28,17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 28,18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 28,19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 28,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Mt 28,16-20;


And the start of the next chapter in Revelation, chapter 6, is then also the beginning of the judgments of the seals. The Son of God opens the first seal, and one of the four living creatures, hence a representative of creation, calls to the first horseman of the Apocalypse on the white horse, telling him "Come".

What is generally left unexplained here is the fact that it is precisely these four living creatures who invoke the catastrophes of the judgments of the seals. One might rather have expected that God would bring these punishments upon humanity. There are two reasons, however, for this proceeding on God’s part. First of all, of course, it is not yet the end of the Last Days. The judgments of God are still to come, but only in the second part, on the Day of the Lord.

The second reason why these "living creatures" are here chosen to give the order is the very fact of their role as the ones who stand before God as representatives of all creation. Just as God has given his Son authority for the opening of the seals, because his Son himself became human, has become familiar with the heights and the depths of human life and so is also capable of judging it, so too these four living creatures are identical with this creation and hence are similarly suited to judge whether this creation is guilty or not. And they decide that it is guilty.

So much for a few avenues of explanation in relation to these four living creatures, their position and their actions. As an overview, and for the better understanding of these matters, we reproduce below a table showing all the events mentioned in the Revelation of John. The crucial distinction between the Great Tribulation (with the Rapture following) and the "Day of the Lord" (or "Day of the Wrath of God", as this period is also called) emerges here with particular clarity.




The seventieth week: seal #1:  The Antichrist / 2, 3: The begin of the birth pangs / 4, 5: The Great Tribulation / 6: The Rapture

Begin Day of the Lord
< 1st seal >
(Rev 6:1-2;)

White horse: rider has a
bow. A crown is given
to him, he goes out con-
quering and to conquer.
< 2nd seal >
(Rev 6:3-4;)

Red horse: takes peace
from the earth. A great
sword is given to him,
men slay one another
< 3rd seal >
(Rev 6:5-6;)

Black horse: a pair of
scales in his hand, wheat
and barley expensive but
oil and wine not damaged.
< 4th seal >
(Rev 6:7-8;)

Ashen horse: Death, and
Hades follow. Authority
over 1/4 of the earth, wild
beasts, famine, pestilence
< 5th seal >
(Rev 6:9-11;)

Underneath of the altar:
martyrs call for judgment. They wear a white robe, rest until their brethren are killed too
< 6th seal >
(Rev 6:12-17;)

Great earthquake: sun is
black, moon is like blood,
stars fall, sky is rolled up,
mountains, islands moved
a6th
sel

< 7th> seal >
(Rev 8:1-6;)

Silence in heaven 1/2 hour
Incense on the altar
7 angels with 7 trumpets
thunder, sounds, lightning
The two witnesses of God prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth (?)


< 1st trumpet >
(Rev 8:7;)

Hail, fire, mixed with blood
1/3 of the earth burned up
1/3 of the trees burned up
all green grass burned up
< 2nd trumpet >
(Rev 8:8-9;)

Mountain burning falls into
sea, 1/3 of the sea blood
1/3 of sea-creatures died
1/3 of ships destroyed
< 3rd trumpet >
(Rev 8:10-11;)

Torch-star from heaven
1/3 of rivers wormwood
1/3 of springs worm-
wood, many men died.
< 4th trumpet >
(Rev 8:12-13;)

Sun, moon, stars:
1/3 of them darkened
for 1/3 of the day
and 1/3 of the night
< 5th trumpet / 1stwoe >
(Rev 9:1-12;)

Star with the key of the pit:
smoke darkens the sun,
locusts hurt only the men
without the seal for 5 months.
< 6th trumpet / 2ndwoe >
(Rev 9:13-21;)

Angels from Euphrates:
fire smoke and brimstone killed 1/3 of mankind, the rest
of mankind did not repent.
a6th
trp

< 7th trumpet / 3rdwoe >
(Rev 11:15-19;)

World's kingdom is God's.
God's wrath has come.
Time for judging the dead.
Thunder, sounds, lightning
The day of the wrath of God - The 42 month of the demonic Antichrist: His rising / Death of the 2 witnesses / The nations tread Jerusalem under foot


<a7th trp>
< 1st bowl >
(Rev 16:1-2;)

Poured out in the earth:
a loathsome, malignant
sore on the people who
had the mark of the beast.
< 2nd bowl >
(Rev 16:3;)

Poured out into the sea:
becomes blood like that of
a dead man, every living
thing in the sea died.
< 3rd bowl >
(Rev 16:4-7;)

Into rivers and springs: the waters became blood. They poured out blood of saints: they now have blood to drink
< 4th bowl >
(Rev 16:8-9;)

Poured out upon the sun:
men scorched with heath
they blasphemed the name
of God and did not repent.
< 5th bowl >
(Rev 16:10-11;)

On the throne of the beast:
kingdom became darkened,
men have pain blasphemed
God and did not repent.
< 6th bowl >
(Rev 16:12;)

On the river Euphrates:
its water was dried up so
the way is prepared for
the kings from the east.
a6th
bwl

< 7th bowl >
(Rev 16:17-21;)

Poured out upon the air: light- ning, sounds, thunder great earthquake as ever before, no islands, no mountains

===================================================================================================================

==
<a7th bwl>
===================


The returned Antichrist: death of the two witnesses



a6th sel
after 6th seal
(Rev 7:1-17;)
No harm to earth, sea and
trees, until the 144'000
are sealed. Those out of
the Great Tribulation
before the throne. The
Lamb will guide them to
springs of water of live.
God will wipe every tear
from their eyes
a6th trp
after 6th trumpet
(Rev 10:1-11; 11:1-14;)
A mighty angel in a
cloud. At the sound of
the 7th trumpet the
mystery of God is
finished. There will
be delay no longer. The
two witnesses will be
killed by the beast.
Earthquake in Jerusalem
a7th trp
after 7th trumpet
(Rev 12:1-17; 13:1-18; 14:1-20; 15:1-8;)
The woman and the dragon, the fall of Satan and his angels.
The beast out of the sea overcomes the saints.
Antichrist and false prophet: the dominion of the two beasts.
The Lamb and the 144'000 standing on Mount Zion.
Three angels: gospel, judgment has come, Babylon is fallen. Blessed who dies
Begin of the judgment, the Son of Man reaps the earth.
Those who had been victorious over the beast and its image sing Moses' song
The 7 angels with the 7 bowls of the wrath of God.
No one was able to enter the temple until the 7 plagues were finished.
a6th bwl
after 6th bowl
(Rev 16:13-16;)
Satan, Antichrist and
false prophet send spirits
of demons performing
signs to the kings of the
whole world to gather
them together for the war
on the great Day of God to
the place which is called
Armageddon.


a7th bwl
after 7th bowl
(Rev 17:1-18; 18:1-24;)
The fall of Babylon
(Rev 19:1-21; 20:1-15;)
Battle of Armageddon
Antichrist and the false
prophet in the lake of fire
Judgment 1st Resurrection
Last fight, Last Judgment
(Rev 21:1-27; 22:1-21;)
The New Creation